The New Taipei City Police Department has seized 446.8kg of heroin and arrested 13 people in the country’s biggest-ever bust involving the substance, law enforcement officials said yesterday.
Police on Oct. 20 raided a warehouse in the city’s Taishan District (泰山) after receiving a tip that the facility was being used to stockpile drugs, New Taipei City Prosecutors’ Office Lead Prosecutor Chen Hsu-hua (陳旭華) told a news conference at police headquarters in Banciao District (板橋).
Logs in the warehouse were found to have compartments that contained 1,172 bricks of heroin that could sell for NT$5 billion (US$179.9 million), Chen said.
After questioning suspects from the facility, investigators identified and detained others, including seven against whom the office has started trial proceedings on narcotics and organized crime charges, seeking mandatory labor for no less than three years in addition to prison sentences, he said.
An arrest warrant has been issued for a man surnamed Lin (林), a main suspect who is thought to have fled to China, Chen said.
Lin is likely to be the link between Taiwanese drug dealers and a man known as Long Ge (龍哥), who heads a drug cartel that traffics heroin out of the Golden Triangle region of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, he said.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who presided over the news conference, said that the heroin confiscated was notable because of its quantity and purity.
The alleged narcotics ring has the hallmarks of a sophisticated organization, Su said.
“Fortunately, good has prevailed over evil,” he said, adding that the National Police Agency would present awards to the officers who took part in the operation.
New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), a former Criminal Investigation Bureau commissioner, said that the haul was unprecedented.
“I busted a lot of drug operations when I worked in the police force, but I have never seen anything like this,” Hou said. “Never in this quantity.”
Double-lion and globe marks on the bricks suggest that the heroin is of high purity and would have caused a significant rise in crime if the shipment had not been intercepted, he said.
‘UNPRECEDENTED’: Taiwan’s envoy said that official wording framing Taiwan-China issues as not about unification or independence counters the narrative Beijing wants Use of the phrase “democratic Taiwan” by Germany’s new coalition government in official document shows that Taiwan-China issues are not about “independence” against “unification,” but about democracy against authoritarianism, Representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) said yesterday. Germany’s Social Democratic Party, Free Democratic Party and the Greens — known as the “traffic light coalition” for their colors — on Wednesday inked a coalition agreement following elections on Sept. 26. The agreement, a blueprint for their governance for the next four years, mentions “Taiwan,” which is unprecedented, showing that the new German government is paying close attention to cross-strait peace and supports Taiwan’s
BIDEN NOD: A China watcher said that the inclusion of Taiwan is notable, as it is the only democratic state on the list that Washington does not officially recognize Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) and Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) are to attend the US-led Summit for Democracy on Dec. 9 and 10, the government said yesterday, after US President Joe Biden announced the list of guests for the virtual event. The US Department of State on Tuesday announced a list of 110 invited participants, including Taiwan, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan and the UK. China and Russia were not invited, and Beijing expressed anger at the decision to invite Taiwan. The summit is to revolve around three key themes: Defending against authoritarianism, addressing and fighting
‘BADGE OF HONOR’: Lithuanian lawmaker Dovile Sakaliene, who is on China’s travel ban list, said delegation members joked that they would be joining her on it soon A delegation led by the chairman of the Lithuanian Parliamentary Group for Relations with Taiwan yesterday arrived in Taipei to participate in a conference on democracy later this week. The group, led by Matas Maldeikis, a Lithuanian lawmaker and an outspoken critic of China, touched down at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 6:18am yesterday. Maldeikis said at the airport that he expected the trip to enhance understanding between Taiwan and Lithuania after cooperation between the two sides took a big step forward this past year. “This trip will be another step in understanding each other because we are dealing with the same challenges,”
GET A BOOST: After considering the potential for local outbreaks amid an increase in cases abroad, a committee recommended adolescents receive their second shots The level 2 COVID-19 alert is to be extended until Dec. 13, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday, as it advised people in six high-risk groups to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. It also recommended that adolescents aged 12 to 17 who had a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine receive a second shot. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the nationwide level 2 alert would remain in place for two more weeks from today. Chen said that during New Year’s events eating and drinking might be allowed in designated areas, while